General Synod - February Group of Sessions 2004
How I Voted


All votes are given in the form "votes for"-"votes against".

The following are not included:

  • most Take Note motions;
  • amendments to motions; and
  • changes to the Standing Orders.

Motions are given in their final form, after any successful amendments.

My vote Synod's vote  
    Additional Collects (GS 1493B)

bishops: 25-0
clergy: 177-3
laity: 175-11

That the liturgical business entitled "Additional Collects" be finally approved for a period from Sunday 15 February 2004 until further Resolution of the Synod.

    Community Relationships
for carried

That this Synod, noting the recent success of the British National Party in local elections in parts of Lancashire:

(a) believe that any political movement that seeks to divide our communities on the basis of ethnicity is an affront to the nature of God revealed in creation and scripture and is a grave danger to harmonious community relationships; consequently voting for and/or supporting a political party that offers racist policies is incompatible with Christian discipleship;

(b) call on all Christians in England to nurture a loathing of the sin of racism and to model the teaching of Christ in loving all our neighbours; and

(c) commit the Church of England to work in partnership with our ecumenical partners, other faith groups, voluntary and statutory organisations, mainstream political parties and all people of good will, in building cohesive communities and affirming our multiethnic, culturally and religiously diverse society.

    Draft Amending Canon No 26 etc
(Changes to the composition of General Synod) (GS 1484A - 1487A)
    [The relevant resolutions in this section were rather technical, and so I have summarized them in a more understandable form. Only the most significant are included.]
against  lost

change number of Deans elected by the Province of Canterbury from three to five.

for carried remove special constituency for archdeacons, and allow them to stand for election as proctors (ie in the same diocesan constituencies as other clergy)
for carried reinstate the six university members
against lost change the House of Bishops to one bishop (not necessarily the diocesan) per diocese
for carried agree GS 1484A, GS 1485A, GS 1486A, GS 1487A with the above amendments
    Mission-Shaped Church
Report by the Mission and Public Affairs Council (GS 1523)
for carried

That this Synod

(a) welcome the report Mission-shaped Church as a contribution to reflection and action about a 'mixed economy church' and commend it to dioceses, deaneries and parishes for study and discussion;

(b) encourage all parishes to regard the area within their parish boundaries as areas of 'responsibility' rather than areas of 'ownership';

(c) invite dioceses to take account of the report's proposals in the development of their diocesan mission strategies;

(d) invite dioceses and Partnership for World Mission Agencies to send examples of good practice in discovering fresh ways of engaging in mission with contemporary society to the Mission and Public Affairs Division for wider circulation;

(e) request the Mission and Public Affairs Council to: consider how the contributions and needs of minority ethnic people relate to an inclusive theology in changing models of church; consider the growing contribution of minority ethnic people to mission and parish renewal; and draw on the experience of minority ethnic clergy and laity at looking at new ways of being church;

(f) ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to consider and take forward the recommendations and report back to General Synod in the next quinquennium;

(g) ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to also explore how current ministry restrictions relating to parish boundaries could be relaxed, to enable all churches to respond more flexibly to the network culture in which we now live; and

(h) reaffirm the guidelines for bringing a church plant to maturity, that appear in Appendix 1 of Breaking New Ground, already published and approved by General Synod, and recommend that they be adopted and used by each Diocese.

    A Measure for Measures: in Mission and Ministry
Report of the Review of the Dioceses, Pastoral and related Measures (GS 1528)
for carried That this Synod

(a) approve the recommendations contained in pages 96 to 105 of the Report, except that in Recommendation 41(c) the word "regular" be inserted before the words "public worship"; and

(b) request the Archbishops' Council and the Business Committee to appoint a follow-up group (i) to prepare draft legislation to implement those recommendations which require it and (ii) to oversee the implementation of the other recommendations.

    The Draft Pastoral (Amendment) Measure (GS 1524)
Measure for First Consideration
for carried That the Measure entitled "Pastoral (Amendment) Measure" be considered for revision in committee.
    Gender Neutral Titles
for carried

That this Synod, noting that gender neutral language was one of the guiding principles in devising Common Worship, request that all future legislation of this Synod referring to offices be drafted (where legal and drafting considerations permit) so that gender neutral language is employed.

    Future Use of the Church Commissioners' Funds (GS 1529)

That the Synod do take note of this Report.

for carried motion to adjourn the above motion.

Some Issues in Human Sexuality: A guide to the debate
A discussion document from the House of Bishops' Group on Issues in Human Sexuality (GS 1519)

for carried

That this Synod commend Some Issues in Human Sexuality to the Church for study and reflection.

for carried
That this Synod

(a) strongly reaffirm that marriage is central to the stability and health of human society and warrants a unique place in the law of this country;

(b) recognise that there are issues of hardship and vulnerability for people whose relationships are not based on marriage which need to be addressed by the creation of new legal rights; and

(c) ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to monitor future developments on these issues and report as necessary to Synod.

    Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (GS 1476B)
for carried
bishops: 23-0
clergy: 120-0
laity: 144-1

That the Measure entitled "Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure" be finally approved.

    Draft Stipends (Cessation of Special Payments) Measure (GS 1505A)
Measure for Revision
Report by the Revision Committee (GS 1505Y)
for carried That the Synod do take note of this Report.
For carried motions to accept each clause of the draft measure.
    Common Worship Ordinal (GS 1534)
for carried

That the liturgical business entitled "Common Worship Ordinal" be considered for revision in committee.

    Draft Amending Canon No 27 (GS 1525)
Canon for First Consideration
for lost That the Canon entitled "Amending Canon No 27" be considered for revision in committee.
    Telling the Story: Being Positive about HIV/AIDS
Report by the Mission and Public Affairs Council (GS 1530)
for carried

That this Synod, aware of the suffering and unprecedented threat to human life and development presented by HIV/AIDS and mindful of the statement issued by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in May 2003 that the 'Body of Christ has AIDS':

(a) commend the positive contribution that Churches and church agencies in Africa have made to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic;

(b) affirm the work of the Church of England's world mission agencies, the development agencies and diocesan companion links in their support of those working with people with HIV/AIDS, including orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS;

(c) commend and encourage further development of partnerships between DfID and Churches of the Anglican Communion as exemplified in the HIV/AIDS work of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa;

(d) encourage dioceses and parishes to use World AIDS Day (December 1) as a means of raising awareness of the impact of AIDS and raising financial support for the work of the Church's mission and development agencies in their work with HIV/AIDS; and

(e) ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to take forward the recommendations set out in section 7 of Telling the Story: Being Positive about HIV/AIDS.

    Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects, Rules for Regulating Authorized Forms of Service, and 'Rules to Order the Service and Other Miscellaneous Liturgical Proposals' (GS 1342A, as amended by GS 1342B) (GS 1520)
for carried That the liturgical business entitled "Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects, Rules for Regulating Authorized Forms of Service, and 'Rules to Order the Service and Other Miscellaneous Liturgical Proposals' (GS 1342A, as amended by GS 1342B)" be considered for revision in committee.'
    The Review of Clergy Terms of Service
Report by the Archbishops' Council (GS 1527)
for carried That this Synod

(a) approve the recommendations summarised on page 1 of the Report;

(b) commend the report to the dioceses and the wider church and ask dioceses and other interested parties to submit comments to the working group by July 2004;

(c) request the Archbishops' Council to follow up the recommendations, taking account of the responses from dioceses and other interested parties, and to bring forward legislation based on those recommendations; and

(d) request the working group to make a further report to this Synod at the conclusion of the second phase of its work.

    The Gift of Authority
Report by the Council for Christian Unity (GS 1532)
for carried That this Synod

(a) re-affirm the Church of England's commitment to work with all its ecumenical partners towards the full visible unity of the Church of Christ;

(b) recognise the significant role of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) in progressing the search for unity;

(c) recognise the pioneering work of ARCIC in developing an ecumenical method which seeks to get behind the language of division and to express the common faith in fresh ways.

(d) welcome the witness of The Gift of Authority that 'authority rightly exercised is a gift of God to bring reconciliation and peace to humankind' and its emphasis on the synodical nature of the Church as the form in which 'believers and churches are held together in communion';

(e) acknowledge that differing convictions about issues of authority are best explored in the context of shared church life and collaboration in mission;

(f) believing that any search for theological agreement on universal primacy requires that the contested claim of universal, ordinary and immediate jurisdiction for the Bishop of Rome be resolved, and noting that The Gift of Authority does not refer to this issue, request that it again form part of the agenda of ARCIC;

(g) observing that The Gift of Authority's treatment of the teaching authority of the Bishop of Rome is not sufficiently clear, request that ARCIC clarify in what sense this is 'a gift to be received by all the churches'; and

(h) affirm that ecumenical texts proposed for agreement by the Church of England should be consonant with the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it and with existing ecumenical agreements, especially when these have already been agreed by this Synod.

    Asylum (GS Misc 731)
for carried
That this Synod, in the light of Scriptural teaching about care for the vulnerable, welcome for strangers and foreigners and the Church's calling to reach out to the marginalised and persecuted

(a) applaud the responses made by congregations sand coalitions of churches working with other faith communities and voluntary organizations in responding to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers;

(b) welcome the contributions made to our Churches and national life by asylum seekers and other migrants;

(c) express its deep concern over the vilifying in the media of those seeking asylum and actively support the efforts of church and secular groups who are seeking to promote a balanced treatment of asylum seekers by the media;

(d) condemn the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable by organised criminals engaging in people trafficking;

(e) call upon Her Majesty's Government

(i) to deliver an asylum system characterised by the quality, speed and justice of its decision making, its respect for human rights and its care for the most vulnerable and to ensure that the vital safeguards of appeal and judicial review are not removed by current legislation;

(ii) to ensure that no person is left homeless or destitute at any point during the process of an application for asylum up to the actual removal of failed applicants at the point of departure;

(iii) to ensure that its presentation of policy and action towards asylum seekers does not promote a negative image of vulnerable people; and

(iv) to raise public awareness of the global phenomenon of migration including the needs of asylum seekers, economic migrants and displaced people and the disproportionate burden borne by developing countries; and

(f) request the Mission and Public Affairs Council to;

(i) study the arguments advanced from several quarters about a more positive approach to asylum seekers many of whom have skills and motivation that Britain badly needs; and

(ii) report to the Synod within twelve months of this debate on its findings and the action it has taken.

Peter Owen
last modified 16 July 2004
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